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Default Larian Studios - Status Update Continued

May 3rd, 2011, 02:23
I forgot to post the continuation of Lar's Larian update last week. This one goes into reminiscing mode as he delves into the old Divine Divinity code. Here's a snip, carrying on from the discovery they'd lost the changes to the updated GOG version:
Ironically, the list of all the changes that were done was on the disc, as were indeed the binary masters, but it was the wrong source code. It was an accident for sure, and given the circumstances in which we were working then (i.e. continuous crunch and no cash) perfectly understandable, but still, quite unsettling.

Given that putting all the changes back in was more work than anticipated (we intended to just fix whatever problems were still reported), and all our programmers were busy on projects A,D, E & M, I figured I’d take the code myself and have a look at what I could do. I very much miss the programming part in my current role at Larian, so I actually even looked forward to it and thought it was a pretty good excuse to put the excel files on the side.

Opening up the code of Divine Divinity brought back plenty of memories, and as I was browsing through it, I suddenly saw a comment –

//Change 30-05-02 – Lar – It’s my birthday and guess what I’m doing again (see painpoint.h for more on this ☹)
and sure enough, I go to painpoint.h and it says

//Change 30-05-01 – Lar –It’s my birthday and guess what I’m doing – Pain points are objects that don’t appear on screen but if a npc bumps into a sphere around the painpoint, he gets hurt

The message implict in this one was that the crunch on Divine Divinity lasted more than a year because I was writing those in the middle of the night. So I started looking for some more quotes in comments – here are my favorite ones (I actually did a search on a number of curses)

//Quite some work to get this – I’m constantly amazed that all of this @@@@ still works […]
More information.
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May 3rd, 2011, 02:23
Hehehe. Of course, I myself write COMPLETELY professional comments all the time.
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May 3rd, 2011, 03:00
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Hehehe. Of course, I myself write COMPLETELY professional comments all the time.
I don't. Although I do try to avoid profanity; it's too easy. I think my favorite of the comments I've left in code over the years is something along the lines of "I'm doing X here. In an ideal world we'd do Y instead, but unfortunately Voltaire trumps Leibniz on this issue."

The best comment I've ever heard about was very simple: "// Drunk, fix later." Found by someone who didn't remember writing it.
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May 3rd, 2011, 11:15
When I was learning programming, I was constantly giving my variables so-called "tell-tale names". The variables often had names indicating their purpose and sometimes rather weird names like "awaywiththis" (in German language, of course ).

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 3rd, 2011, 17:50
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
When I was learning programming, I was constantly giving my variables so-called "tell-tale names". The variables often had names indicating their purpose and sometimes rather weird names like "awaywiththis".
struct by_lightning {
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May 3rd, 2011, 20:57
It's funny until you need fix a bug or make a change, and go through the garbage of someone else, and then throw bird names about the previous guy (could be just you some time ago) who was unable to make something clear and readable.
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May 3rd, 2011, 22:29
That's why I used tell-tale variable & function names

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 3rd, 2011, 23:01
So I guess this means the GOG version doesn't contain all the tweaks/fixes that were originally planned.
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May 4th, 2011, 08:29
The way I read it (follow the link, there's a little more story behind it), they only lost the source code for the changes and updates made for the GOG version, but not the binaries and documentation of those changes.

Either way, fun read! Another one I always liked:

// somedev1 - 6/7/02 Adding temporary tracking of Login screen
// somedev2 - 5/22/07 Temporary my ass

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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